While Lucky's Hot chicken is the newest restaurant on the East Dallas block, the retro umbrellas on the patio nod to the building's restaurant past. Spencer Davis

News Bites

News Bites: More Hot Chicken and Thunderbird Station Opens in Deep Ellum

SideDish’s weekly digest of need-to-know dining happenings in Dallas.

Welcome to SideDish’s weekly dispatch of need-to-know News Bites, from quiet closures to opening updates and everything in between, including coronavirus-related intel.

Hot Chicken! Hot Chicken Here!
I’ve been watching the façade of 4505 Gaston Avenue slowly morph this year. The iconic mid-century stone exterior remains intact, as does its eye-catching sloped roof, then this summer a signpost bearing the Lucky’s Hot Chicken name. Finally, the long-awaited Nashville hot chicken joint is open in Old East Dallas with spicy tenders and wings, beer on-tap, and soft serve ice cream. The hot chicken comes in five spice levels, from “Kinda Lucky” to “Best of Luck.” Also on menu: the Big Lou, a chicken sandwich on house-baked butter buns, with slaw, cheese, sauce, and pickles. The counter-service restaurant, open daily from 11 to 11, will also offer curbside pickup, online ordering, and third party delivery (soon). Kudos to the developer for restoring the original building that housed Norman Brinker’s first restaurant.

Thunderbird Station Lands in Deep Ellum
Kim Finch has done it again. The owner of the Single Wide and Double Wide bars has opened another already-hot drinking den in Deep Ellum. Thunderbird Station softly opened last week. We broke the news on Thunderbird Station last fall, and after nearly a year, the gas-station-turned-restaurant at 3400 Commerce Street is here. With a full kitchen and sweeping patio, Finch can actually operate (unlike her two bars that remain closed under the governor’s orders). At Thunderbird, expect a heady dose of nostalgia with cocktails inspired by childhood frozen treats (remember Flintstone push-pops?) and food that likewise takes a page out the classic comfort food playbook: sloppy Joes, rice crispy treats, Frito pie.

Tejas Returns to the Bishop Arts District
After a brief hiatus for a remodel and menu revamp, the joint is back with a new menu that lightens its fare. Tejas reopened September 22 with a “sexy new look” and a revamped menu—hello, agave-forward spirits program from bar man Iluggy Recinos (formerly Bestia and NoMad in L.A.). The minds behind the menu, executive chef Nicholas Hurry (also at Paradiso) and chef Diego Montoya (previously at Gemma), have opted for lighter, health-conscious fare (“skinny” fajitas, guac trios, mix-and-match mini tacos, and more plant-based offerings). If you miss Tejas’ casual-leaning food of yore, next month the Tejas Back Porch walk-up window along its back breezeway will serve the breakfast tacos and burgers that originally got Tejas headlines.

Ascension Makes Moves to Fort Worth River-Side
You know what they say: when one door closes another opens, even if this one is a bit down the road. We reported last week Ascension’s plans to expand into other North Texas neighborhoods, and now we know where. Ascension plans to open a sprawling location on the Trinity’s bank in November, reported Fort Worth Magazine. There are plans for a patio overlooking the river and full food service with pastries from the local Black Rooster Bakery. We are especially excited about the potential for a to-go coffee option right off the trail—why hasn’t anyone else thought of this? Move over Press Café and HG Sply, there’s a new water-side brunch spot in town. —Reagan Williamson

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